Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
2020 was a challenging year, to say the least. COVID-19 took the world by storm, and we, as a society, had to quickly adapt to what we now call the new normal. It has been challenging, but thankfully, hope comes as 2020 ends and 2021 begins. A new future awaits us, and QR codes will play a big part in its unraveling. In fact, they have proven that already by helping us stay safe during these hard times.
The Second Renaissance of QR codes
In 2011, QR codes got a massive boost of public awareness thanks to mobile marketing. We refer to it as The First Renaissance of QR codes. People who created QR codes started to use them in new and inventive ways. People who scanned them had more options to do so directly from their device or preferred browser. Not to mention the impact giants like Facebook, Twitter, and WeChat made using QR technology for their proprietary codes.
From then on, QR codes kept their momentum going until 2020. As we all know, everything changed. For a time, businesses could no longer thrive as they used to. Not to mention the fact that we, as customers, were not able to purchase goods freely. To counter this problem, a new way to provide products and services was introduced; contactless marketing. And thus came the Second Renaissance of QR codes.
QR codes already provide instant access to any type of online digital content by simply scanning them. It was only natural that due to the nature of COVID-19, businesses would start using them to their fullest potential. Not only because of their accessibility but because people wouldn’t have to expose themselves physically. Let’s take a look at some examples of how QR codes are helping us stay safe.
Menu QR codes
Restaurants, hotels and beauty shops have one thing in common: they provide menus or brochures cataloging their products. In today’s context, handing menus back and forth is a risk. Instead, having one QR code that shows multiple menus and printing it on all tables or banners will reduce contact to zero. Plus, customers can order their meal or service and pay for it via the QR code as well.
COVID form QR codes
Self-declaration forms are everywhere. Businesses, hospitals, residences, all who inhabit these establishments need to pass some sort of health assessment. Suppose someone declares being in contact with a possible case or that is experiencing symptoms. In that case, the authorities can take the necessary actions. With a QR code linked to a screening or tracing form, the process becomes faster and safer. Plus, responses can be accessed in real-time to report to the respective authorities instantly if needed.
These 2 uses of QR code technology prove how valuable the little black and white puzzles are in our current landscape. Having said that, since Christmas time is coming, let’s check some QR code uses to make this time of the year all the merrier 🙂
QR codes for family and friends
Christmas and greeting cards go hand in hand. Why not add a little QR code to the mix. Let your loved ones know how much they mean to you by making your greeting card special and unique. Create a QR code to an MP3 file of your own Christmas carol, or a QR code to a YouTube video that shows how your cat or dog is preparing for New Year’s Eve.
QR codes for fun and games
Here’s a little QR-based game to play with your kids during this holiday season. First, create many QR codes, print them, and hide them all over the house. Then, link QR code 1 to a picture that shows where QR code 2 is, do the same for QR code 2, 3, and so forth up until the last one that shows where Santa has left his big old bag full of presents! With a QR code scavenger hunt, your children will learn about the technology while having fun with it 🙂
QR code to stay in touch
Some may not be able to join their families and friends this time around. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be in touch. QR codes can bring us together. Scan one to access a video community to hang out with your loved ones and celebrate!
QR codes elevate the Christmas spirit to a whole new level. They can also boost holiday sales in enticing and inventive ways. Here are some examples:
QR codes for contactless marketing
Going back to contactless marketing, QR codes are the number one tool that makes this possible. Mobile payment is a given nowadays. It’s secure and, most importantly, fast since we all have our smartphones at the ready to make a purchase. QR codes can make the whole experience even better for both your customers and your business. You can link the QR code to your e-commerce, a discount coupon or a catalog showing all your products. Customers will be delighted to instantly get what they want. Businesses will be able to track their campaigns and even generate leads (more on this here.)
QR codes for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday are huge events that happen all around the world. Due to COVID-19, the long queues of old are gone. We can relax and enjoy the holiday deals by scanning a QR code to a coupon or clicking/tapping its short URL right from our homes. It’s as simple as that!
QR code for networking
Thanks to the social media platforms out there, we can all have a sense of camaraderie with one another. With QR codes, you can have your target audience follow you wherever you are instantly. By doing so, they will be able to stay up to date about all your news and, most importantly, when are those special deals taking place during this holiday season. Engage with them and start your networking journey with a social QR code!
QR + AR = Pow-R!
One last implementation of QR codes that should be on your radar is for augmented reality. The technology is growing exponentially, and today’s smartphones are capable of displaying models faster than ever. Reality XD is a company that provides AR solutions for customers to view products in their own space. Furthermore, no app is needed; it’s all web-based. You can get your model up and running with Reality XD and then have your target audience access it by scanning a uQR.me QR code. Now that’s next-gen!
Here are some examples of what you can achieve by combining QR codes with AR technology. Scan away!
QR codes by the numbers
As the curtain closes on 2020, it is crucial to understand the impact that QR codes have made over the years. A study carried out by Adobe Systems shows that approximately 25% of people living in the US scan QR codes. This survey was made in 2014, by the way. Today, due to the current pandemic, we can expect a radical increase in this number. Statista estimated that 2020 would see 11 million households scan QR codes in the US. Finally, Gartner’s report estimates that 80% of businesses that provide ordering or payment services will go contactless. And as we know, QR codes are the number one solution to achieve this type of interaction. The numbers speak for themselves: QR codes are not only relevant due to their endless possibilities; they are fundamental.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy… Birthday?
We made it. Christmas is just around the corner, followed by 2021. It’s time to celebrate and start fresh with QR codes! We’d also like to share with you that 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of our QR code generator. Thanks to all who have trusted us along the past decade, and here’s to 10, 20, 30 years more together! One last thing before I go: we will be introducing new and cool features in early 2021. Stay tuned, stay safe and smile 🙂